A Guide For Where To Place Your Solar Panels

It is easy to understand that solar panels work best when they can get as much direct sunlight as possible. So, it is no surprise that one of the most common questions we get asked is “What is the best direction for solar panels?” 

The position of solar panels can be hugely important to their output. When you also consider that output affects the cost-effectiveness of panels, it is essential to get it right.

Whether you are having domestic or commercial solar panel installation, it is important to understand the ideal location for your panels to be placed in order to get the most out of them. The direction and position of your panels can actually have a remarkably large effect on their efficiency, so this is worth understanding.

Here we have provided a detailed guide to some of the important things you need to know about where you should place your solar panels and which way to point solar panels.

Which direction is best for solar panels?

The first thing to consider for your solar panel installation, and probably the aspect that will most affect its output, is the direction that the panels face. A large part of the best advice here just comes down to simple logic with regards to the sun’s movements, as no matter where you live, the sun always rises in the east and sets in the west.

In the UK, we are in the northern hemisphere. This means that the sun is above the equator and therefore your solar panels will be most effective if they are south facing. Panels facing south will face the sun all day long. This gives them the maximum possible time to collect sunlight and convert it into energy.

Of course, many properties do not have an appropriate south-facing roof – but that’s not necessarily a reason to give up on solar panels.  If you can’t have south-facing panels, the next best option is west-facing, and then east-facing. North-facing panels are the least effective and are impractical in the UK. Some homeowners choose to have panels on both east and west-facing roofs if they do not have a south-facing home.

What angle should solar panels be at?

There is virtually no debate regarding the most effective direction of solar panels – but in terms of the correct angle for the effectiveness of panels, there is far less in the way of a one-size-fits-all solution.

If you were living directly on the equator this would be simple, as a horizontal panel at 90 degrees would have the sun directly above at all times. However, with your solar panel in the UK, the sun is at a different angle relative to the Earth – and this changes throughout the year. Ultimately, this means choosing an angle that is going to give you the best possible benefit.

In fact, this will depend on the specific of your home and the angle of your roof. It is best to have your panel pointing directly at the sun in the middle of the day during the summer, so your panel should be set up to achieve this. However, you should be aware that in doing so you will make your panels slightly less effective during winter.

Solar panels

Are certain types of panels more effective?

While you might not be aware of it, there are many different types of solar panel from a range of providers. The two most common are the cheaper but less efficient polycrystalline solar panels and the more expensive but more efficient monocrystalline solar panels.

While these panels work to achieve different levels of output, this is not down to their positioning, so you can choose the panel that is right for you separately from deciding its placement.

Do they have to be attached to the roof?

The majority of solar panels owners choose to have their panels attached to their roof. This has led to something of an assumption that they have to be placed on the roof. But this is not necessarily the case. Roof-mounted solar panels do have plenty of advantages such as being out of the shade of trees, as well as being protected from heavy wind.

However, free-standing solar panels can also be valuable as they can be placed facing south and at any angle you wish. Alternatively, integrated solutions such as façade and flat-roof solar panels can be used to replace conventional building materials.

If you would like to learn more about solar panels and how to get as much out of them as possible we have created a section with useful video content and FAQs. Alternatively, you can get in contact with us today to talk with our highly experienced team who will be happy to answer any questions you have:


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